Becoming a Walmart Vendor - How to Sell Your Product to Stores
Market ResearchUnder these challenging economic circumstances, when consumers are cutting spending back, being on the shelves of large retail chains like Walmart can still provide small businesses with significant revenue growth opportunities. Successfully making it into this mega retailer takes careful preparation in order to satisfy its vendor requirements and be accepted. Market research is essential when approaching Walmart to sell your products or services. You must determine whether your product meets consumer demands at a competitive price, understand logistics surrounding shipping to stores, and understand potential delays or other potential issues that may arise when doing business with this giant retailer. Before approaching them with products for sale, however, conduct thorough market research first to assess consumer interest in them and their pricing, then research their supplier code so as to see if your business qualifies to do business with them. Before submitting your product or service for consideration by Walmart, you must complete an application on Walmart Vendor Central (WVC). The exact process varies depending on what product it is – for instance, applying as a National Supplier requires meeting Walmart’s minimum purchase requirement, while items submitted under Local Purchase Program or Services/Non-Resale Program will receive consideration. This application gathers basic details about your company, such as its physical address and contact details, ownership status (minority or woman-owned), UPC codes for products you plan to sell Walmart and any others that could affect this decision. To be successful as a Walmart vendor, you must demonstrate a deep commitment to quality and customer service, meet their strict vendor requirements (such as insurance and minimum purchase quantities) as well as produce large volumes of your product with an efficient supply chain capable of meeting demand from the company. Respond quickly and consistently to customer inquiries and complaints; Walmart customers tend to expect prompt resolution of any inquiries or issues raised with them. Furthermore, your marketing materials or sales pitches must match up with what promises are made in them if customers reach out with inquiries or issues.
Product DevelopmentBecoming a Walmart vendor doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, especially for products that are newer or compete with more established brands. Walmart buyers can be finicky when it comes to approving new products; one way of increasing your chances is creating a product line tailored towards meeting consumer needs – such as unique room furnishings, stain removers or any number of other goods; having one increases the odds that Walmart will approve your products for sale at their stores. Research the market before making your submission to Walmart. Learn what consumers need and their demands are as well as how your product compares to others on the market. Once you understand your target audience, the next step should be creating a prototype or sample to demonstrate your product for Walmart buyers to better comprehend its features and benefits as well as its use cases – this physical representation should allow the Walmart buyer to see for himself or herself how well your product functions in real life. Once you have your product sample ready, the next step to becoming a Walmart vendor will be filling out an online application and providing details of your products as well as proof of ownership and insurance documents. In addition, GS1 requires vendors to obtain GTIN or UPC codes and distribute these through them for distribution purposes. If your product meets Walmart’s approval standards, you may submit it for consideration by Walmart buyers. They will assess it to see if it would fit well within their stores and notify you as well as request that a contract be signed. As a Walmart vendor, success requires strong customer service and being able to meet their stringent requirements. While signing an agreement can take some time, small businesses and manufacturers alike can become successful suppliers to Walmart through proper teamwork.
Sales PitchWalmart buyers search for high-quality products that provide customers with exceptional value, as well as meet its stringent vendor requirements. Buyers may source these goods through various channels – online applications, trade shows or direct contact with manufacturers – before being invited to become one of its suppliers and gain access to its systems and processes. Establishing an effective sales pitch is a key part of becoming a Walmart vendor. Your pitch must highlight what sets your product apart from competitors and the value it brings consumers. Walmart seeks out unique items that have yet to be provided by competitors; make yours stand out by creating an eye-catching presentation! As part of your sales pitch, be sure to include information such as your business history and financial statements as well as your Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or W-8 tax certificate for non-U.S. suppliers. Furthermore, liability insurance should also be secured against claims related to your products supplied. After your application and certification have been processed, register your brand on Marketplace and create your seller profile. When buyers in your category approve your listing, negotiations to create contracts and arrange deliveries can commence immediately – key elements to success during this step being being courteous and professional in your approach. Negotiation should involve discussing pricing, shipping conditions, inventory forecasts and any other aspects that will have an effect on your company’s profitability. In this phase, try to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both parties involved; additionally be ready to discuss any additional documentation that might be necessary, such as chemical information or return policies relating to your product.
Becoming a Walmart Vendor – How to Sell Your Product to StoresIf your product can convince Walmart executives of its viability across multiple platforms, the company may grant you a trial order and begin selling it nationally. If its popularity grows exponentially, look forward to large orders and long-term contracts from them.
Inventory ManagementWalmart’s stringent standards regarding merchandise quality make them difficult to satisfy for many small businesses that attempt to become vendors of this retailer, yet often fall short due to lacking sufficient funding and resources to produce goods up to those standards. As a result, many small business vendors struggle with fulfilling Walmart’s demands regarding pricing. If your company is just starting out and lacks sales history, one way to increase its chances of entering Walmart may be signing with a distributor who will ship directly into stores like Walmart and assist with any customer service issues that may arise. You could also visit local Walmart stores and pitch your products directly to managers – this may help build up a sales history which may eventually help get accepted into Walmart’s larger distribution network. Before submitting your product or service to Walmart, it is necessary to submit an online vendor application and submit a sample along with an up-to-date sell sheet that details all its features and benefits as they relate to Walmart customers. After editing your submission for any flaws or discrepancies, review and edit before sending to Walmart so as to meet all their criteria and meet with approval. As part of your preparations to sell at Walmart, ensure your product is packaged to appeal to their consumer base. Walmart customers prefer simple, eye-catching packaging that draws them in. Furthermore, having an effective social media presence and online storefront where potential buyers can go will also help draw customers towards your product. Once registered as a vendor, GSM (Global Supplier Management) will invite you to begin its acceptance process. This typically takes at least four weeks; during which it is important to show patience. Prepare yourself to answer questions from Walmart buyers regarding your manufacturing capabilities, production timelines and logistics details. Also prepare to present any required documents that pertain to your business such as federal taxpayer identification numbers for U.S-based suppliers and W-8 tax certificates for non-U.S.-based suppliers; direct sellers needing insurance policies with specific limits of liability coverage may need additional proof documents as well.
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